We Heart San Diego

I’m totally crushing on San Diego right now. Could it be because it’s around 18 degrees F in Portland right now? That has a lot to do with it. But besides beautiful sunshine and stunning vistas, San Diego has something else going for it that we think is pretty awesome: a kick-ass coffee scene.

Can you believe this? It's sick!
Can you believe this? It’s sick!

San Diego’s cafes are on my mind for three big reasons this week:

1) Chuck Patton, who owns the award-winning company, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, in La Jolla, is writing a story for us about some awesome projects he has going in Colombia. You can see it in the February+March issue of Barista Magazine.

2) My dear old friend Lene Hyldahl, who owns the cafe,  Behag Din Smag  in Aalborg, Denmark, with her husband, wrote to me yesterday asking for cafe suggestions in San Diego. One of her baristas is going to put down roots in the sunny city for the next five months, and he needs to know where, dammit, where to get excellent coffee.

3) One of the coolest events out there, Caffeine Crawl, by Jason Burton, will be hosting a city tour in San Diego next month ”January 25, to be specific. Everyone’s invited! Just go HERE to get a ticket! And be sure to clear your schedule to attend the epic after party at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters! Big ups to InterAmerican Coffee for sponsoring this Crawl.


So I wondered if maybe San Diego was on anyone else’s mind… If you’re planning a warm weather escape to this fabulous SoCal city, I urge you to (please take me with you) check out this list of some of the best shops we know of in the area. Happy sipping. (Note: * indicates company is featured in the Caffeine Crawl San Diego event)

Award-winning beachside cafe and roaster. Direct trade awesomeness.
5627 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla; 858-551-1707

One of the area’s old timers ”founded in 1968 ”but still totally relevant.
2619 National Ave.; 619-239-6686

From the website: “Growing up in Indonesia during the 1970s taught us the value of participating in the Global Community and the understanding, that while people and places are unique and different, our love for coffee crossed seemingly all barriers.”
1894 Main St.; 619-546-6314

A francise, yes, but a local franchise. A menu big enough for you (single origin) and your mom (eggnog latte).
Multiple locations.

Not a cafe, but some damn fine craft-roasted coffee. Musician-turns-roaster. Coffee subscriptions available.

Totally community focused. We like team players.
4130 Napier St.;  619-275-4000

They take their coffee ”and their baristas ”seriously. (And did you know Duane Sorenson worked there once upon a time?)
3933 30th St.; 619-291-1759

Roaster founded by two friends who totally value the beauty of the single O. Coffee subscriptions available.

They called themselves gypsy roasters when they started out because, without a cafe, they were selling beans wherever they could. Now they have a stylish tasting room waiting for you to visit.
2911 El Cajon Blvd.; 609-564-8086

Strictly organic and Fair Trade-certified coffees at this place.
1616 National Ave.; 619-550-1830

Um, a horse wearing a coat and tie? Sign me up! Single O-loving San Diegans.
3260 Adams Ave.; 619-344-6962

Uber Italian style espresso bar, located in a gorgeous building that dates back to the 1880s.
427 C St.; 619-696-6242

Go for the coffee, stay for the panini and breakfasts. And it’s dog friendly, which means it’s awesome.
675 W. G St.; 619-696-7220

And there are many more! If you know of one that rocks that I missed, let me know about it!

About Sarah 934 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.

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